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outdoor grill

It’s getting to be that time of year when you want to keep the heat out of the house. The kitchen is one of the best places to start. Give your oven a summer vacation and try out some cooler cooking options. Grill out, use the microwave or slow cooker, or make a few sandwiches and go on a picnic. Any of these options will help you decrease the heat and increase energy savings. Here’s a recipe that helps meet that goal:

Steak with Balsamic BBQ Sauce 

(Recipe courtesy of


Balsamic BBQ sauce:

• 1 cup balsamic vinegar

• 3/4 cup ketchup

• 1/3 cup brown sugar

• 1 garlic clove, minced

• 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and stir until ingredients are incorporated and mixture is smooth. Simmer over medium heat until reduced by 1/3, about 15 to 20 minutes.


• 4 pieces of New York strip or club strip steak

• Salt and freshly ground pepper

Cook steaks starting at about 4 minutes per side until a meat thermometer reads desired temperature: 120 degrees F for medium rare, 135 degrees F for medium (about 6 minutes per side) or 155 degrees F for well done (about 9 minutes per side). Brush meat with BBQ sauce every few minutes. Remove meat from grill and let rest for at least 5 minutes. Serve with heated BBQ sauce.

To keep the kitchen cooler while you’re preparing your side dishes or cleaning up after your meal, be sure to:

• Cover pots and pans and make sure they are matched to the size of the burner.

• Cook double batches of any items you’re preparing and freeze the extra for a later meal.

• Use the “no heat” setting on your dishwasher.